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TOPIC: Thoughts on Lean Cuisine, Weight watcher meals etc

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December 1, 2010 8:37 PM
Hey there everyone, what are your thoughts on eating the weight watcher meals, lean cuisine etc

I am torn in what is good to eat and what is not. I hear different things from different people. I know a girl that is into fitness and health and she tells me that in order to lose weight etc and eat right you need to eat a clean diet and I am sure she would think these prepackaged meals are terrible. Just curious your thoughts
December 1, 2010 8:40 PM
They have a TON of sodium so even though they're low cal, i've kinda cut them out of my diet :(
makes me sad bc I have my favorites, but i've replaced them with lower sodium options. broiling chicken breasts and making my own enchiladas and things.

OTOH - drinking LOTS of water helps balance .... so i think it's more about how you want to fit it in to your daily menus.
December 1, 2010 8:42 PM
I always believe that eating "real" food is the best way to go. Learning portion control and how to choose/prepare healthy, balanced meals are the key to losing and keeping off weight. A lot of those pre-packaged meals are LOADED with sodium and preservatives that are terrible for you.
December 1, 2010 8:44 PM
For me, they are actually too low in calories. Aside from the sodium issue which is very true, in order for me to get all the calories that I needed for my daily goal I had to eat more food with it or an extra snack. I didn't realize it, but some of them are under 200 calories. I need to eat at least 1500 a day because I burn over 600 when I workout.

On the other hand, when you are short on time, they are a better choice that fast food hands down! I work third shift, and the only places open to eat when I am working are Jack in the Box and Burger King. I was under on calories one day, so I checked the BK nutrition stuff online and didn't find anything at all worth trying. Even the salads were high in fat and calories! At that point, I would have gladly had a Lean Cuisine meal.
December 1, 2010 8:46 PM
I was working with a trainer a while back and she told me to cut them because of the sodium. As soon as I did I started seeing a huge difference, so I found other ways to bring lunch everyday instead. I still have one now and then when the hubs is working late and it seems to be OK, but all the time held me back.
December 1, 2010 8:48 PM
Well, all I can say is that I wouldn't have lost the weight I have so far without Lite and Easy (and Lean Cuisine/Choices every few weeks for variety). I just buy lunces and dinners and have them, with the occasional home cooked meal.

The biggest issue I had was that I am very busy, I would come home from and be heading out somwhere else. So, the temptation was always the convenience take away, like MacDonalds or KFC.

It makes it easy to control portions (I am a big eater), and the variety is pretty good.

So, my thoughts on them are pretty positive. :-)
December 1, 2010 8:50 PM
yes they are loaded with sodium, but if you have a lifestyle on the go, they are a good alternative to fast food. i usually keep about 5 meals in my freezer for those late work days where i can get myself to prepare a meal or source the ingredients...

also, relying on prepared low calorie meals is not the way to learn how to eat healthy... if so, youll be a slave to them and be afraid to stray and prepare your own meals

the point is... No, do not base your whole diet around them, but yes there is a place for them.
Edited by lukasmac On December 1, 2010 8:54 PM
December 1, 2010 8:53 PM
Saw a colleague microwave a WW smart one. Pasta with vodka sauce worth 6 point but it look ugly. I ate lean cousine for about 14 days for lunch because i helped me avoid having to decide what to eat for lunch. I lost weight but grew tired of the taste and they are rally sodium rich as mentioned earlier. I now cook my lunch as we prepare dinner and bring it to work, white meat and green veggies. No pasta or rice (which is what the majority of LC and WW use) and I dont crash after lunch. Try the them both, perhaps you will love them and they are a good tool to prevent you from making poor choices.
December 1, 2010 8:53 PM
I do eat them sometimes, but when I buy them I try to pick the ones with lower sodium and depending on the calories of that meal, I would eat something small on the side with it.
December 1, 2010 8:54 PM
Yeah like everyone else has been saying, they are good for on-the-go meals. Obviously eat a Lean Cuisine over grabbing McDonalds on your way to wherever you're going! The new "Market Creations" line doesn't have as much sodium and they steam in the bag so the stuff tates pretty good. I have one or two a week for lunch or dinner and I have continued to lose weight.

There is a place for them...but as usual eating a CLEAN, NATURAL meal is way better any day :)
December 1, 2010 8:58 PM
They are not healthy and they are not conducive to a long term lifestyle change. Do you see yourself eating them for the rest of your life? I shy away from pre-packaged food.
December 1, 2010 9:00 PM
I have them at least once during the weekend. They're kind of a treat for me--a great-tasting meal that I didn't have to take the time and effort to prepare. I like adding tofu or extra veggies to the ones that have fewer calories. After I find one that I really like, I try to figure out how to make something like it myself from scratch, and I've been able to come pretty close on some. With the homemade versions, you can control the amount of calories, fat, and sodium. And if you make enough, you can freeze the leftovers for a quick meal later.

So, I think they're great every once in awhile, but I don't think it would be a good idea to eat them for every meal.
December 1, 2010 9:01 PM
I love pizza ! Lean Cuisine and weight watcher pizzas are my pizza fix. I realize they are high in sodium but for me they keep me from craving Dominos or pizza hut . :O)
December 1, 2010 9:05 PM
I LOVE THEM!!!!! I was in the habit of eating lunch out too much during the work day. I now sometimes bring them to work but most of the time I go home for lunch and pop them in the microwave. My personal favorites are Healthy Choice and Lean Cuisine. I love Healthy Choice lemon pepper fish. But I don't care for the Lean Cuisine salmon. They may have some sodium but they are way better for you than going to a fast food restaurant!

These light healthy meals really help me loose weight that i gained from fast food restaurants. True, they may not fill you up. So what better way to compliment meat, whole wheat pasta, veggies with yogurt, skim milk, fruit to compliment.

There are coupons you can get to do your own trial and error. Check the grocery store adds for sales like 2 for $4,
December 1, 2010 9:13 PM
I have cut down on them for sure due to sodium, but I have not totally eliminated them for their convenience. You can not beat them for convenience. Since I am very busy they work and are good and better than fast foods calorie wise and sodium. I use to do 2 of these a day now I never do over one a day and maybe 3 times a week.

I keep them on hand for emergencies and quickies. They are not my 1st choice but they work for what they were designed for.

Hope this helps!
December 1, 2010 9:14 PM
I used to eat these daily. They were my main food source. And I lost a lot of weight doing it. There are some good things about them. They're portion controlled, easy to make, and lower in calories than most foods in the "too lazy/busy to cook" category. However, they're also heavily processed, full of salt and empty carbohydrates, and they really don't have much of any nutritional value. They also don't teach you much about how to eat. All that weight I lost eating them? Guess what? I gained more than half of it back.

Focus instead on real food and micronutrients. Eat fresh food, and eat as many colors as possible. Eat vegetables, fruits, healthy meat (the cow that eats grass and roams a pasture is a lot better for you than the cow that eats corn and stagnates in a feed lot), some starch, and skip the rest. You'll feel a whole lot better, and it'll be a whole lot easier to change your habits to lose weight and keep it off. That's what really matters. I'm back down to my low weight which I reached eating frozen dinners, but this time, I don't feel like I'm on a diet, and I don't have any desire to go back to eating heavily processed foods.

By the way, my fridge at work is still ready for emergencies. I keep a bucket of lettuce (those big 1 pound containers of baby greens - I can finish one off in about a week), a couple salad dressings, an assortment of vegetables, and hard boiled eggs in the fridge. In my desk, I keep a few cans of tuna, almonds, cashews, walnuts, and dried fruits (and sometimes homemade beef jerky, but I can never keep that around for very long). Guess what? I feel good, and those people who are microwaving their frozen meals tend to be pretty jealous of my lunch. (I do offer to share!) If you shop local and seasonal (farmers markets!), you also will spend about the same amount of money. Which would you rather eat?
December 1, 2010 9:15 PM
The sodium content is a bit alarming but I always have a few stocked in my freezer when I don't have a plan/ have lunch prepared for work. I've only have the lean cuisine but it is filling and tasty and helps me to stay on track. As with everything, moderation is key so use frozen dinners sparingly.

It is indeed much better to use fresh produce and meats but if you're in a rush or just don't want to cook, don't feel regretful about reaching for one of these.
December 1, 2010 9:20 PM
sodium fail. go for the seasonal fresh stuff if you can.
December 1, 2010 9:22 PM
I agree with the pp about sodium but I also the soy content of "diet food/meals/snacks". Being a woman battling infertility this is a red flag for me. Soy (in high amounts) can have the potential of changing your hormone levels. LOTS of soy in lean cuisine and ww. Every now and again, yes. Everyday, not for me.
December 1, 2010 9:41 PM
I try to avoid them, but I do keep a couple of frozen meals in my freezer at work, for those days when my morning just goes wrong & I don't bring anything with me. I try to stay away from brands like Lean Cuisine and Weight Watchers. There are some smaller name brands that are just healthier. Amy's (organic & vegetarian) has some really good options that are low sodium. It's still a bit too high in sodium, but it is significantly lower than others.

I often work 10-12 hour shifts, so it's better for me to eat one of these meals than nothing at all. It's only once in a while.
December 2, 2010 12:26 AM
i think its just whatever suits your lifestyle i dont think these meals are as bad as people make out,i have lost 70lbs and most days ive had a weight watchers meal for either lunch or dinner they are just very easy and quick different stokes for different folks hey! xx
December 2, 2010 1:14 AM
High amounts of sodium. Not worth it. Sodium keeps you from burning fat. Also makes everything you do harder on your heart. I personally do not eat them because of that and other reasons but that one alone is enough.
December 2, 2010 2:22 AM
Obviously they are processed and high in sodium and all that ... but it IS ok to eat them, really. Sometimes you need something quick and easy, and it IS better than a lot of the other options. I typically have a Lean Pocket for lunch a few days a week. It takes 2 minutes to cook and I can eat it while I'm running around like a chicken with its head cut off when I'm trying to get ready for work in the morning after only a few hours of sleep, lol. And I think that it IS something that you will be doing for the rest of your life- who doesn't need a quick meal every once in a while/all the time? lol

If you are eating them as a substitute for cooking every day and you are eating them only to lose weight and then once you're done losing weight, you'll never eat them again... then no, probably not a good choice. But if it is part of your lifestyle, it is part of your lifestyle, and so be it. That's ok.
December 2, 2010 2:40 AM
I love the Smart Ones(weight watchers). I eat them probably more than I should. It's just easier for me to measure what I eat that way. I have started to make my own meals and learning to be creative with "real" food but I do still probably eat a frozen dinner about 5 times a week. I think they are great for people trying to get started with portion control and dieting.
December 2, 2010 3:27 AM
As a nutritionist I recommend, in a pinch and once in awhile they are fine but don't make a habit out of them. Real food is the only answer for the long term and how to survive with long term weight loss.

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